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President Hu urges for peaceful reunification of China

President Hu Jintao Sunday called for Taiwan and the Chinese mainland to reunite in a peaceful manner, as he marked the centennial of the revolution that ended China's imperial history.

"Achieving reunification through peaceful means is what most suits Chinese people's fundamental interests, including Taiwan compatriots," Hu addressed a big gathering at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing. 

"We must strengthen our opposition to Taiwanese independence... and promote close exchanges and cooperation between compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait."

"We should ... end cross-Strait antagonisms, heal wounds of the past and work together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," Hu said.

The ceremony at the Great Hall of the People marked the 100th anniversary of the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing dynasty, bringing more than 2,000 years of nearly unbroken imperial history to an end. 

Rejuvenating China, which was the goal of Dr Sun Yat-sen and other pioneers of the Revolution of 1911, should be the common aspiration of all people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, said the Chinese President.

The political common ground, opposing "Taiwan independence" and upholding the 1992 Consensus, which agrees that there is only one China, must be boosted.

This was a "thoroughly modern, national and democratic revolution" that shook the world and ushered in unprecedented social changes in China, Hu said.

Members of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee, the country's top ruling body, as well as representatives from non-Communist parties, lawmakers, political advisers and people without party affiliation, attended the half-hour ceremony.

Zhou Tienong, chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, one of the non-Communist parties, said that the CPC is the "natural inheritor of the anti-imperial and anti-feudal revolution led by Dr. Sun Yat-sen".

Most members of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, founded in Hong Kong in 1948, were former middle- and high-ranking Kuomintang officials or people with Taiwan connections.

Zheng Jianbang, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, echoed Hu and said that peaceful national reunification had been pursued by Dr. Sun.

"Over the past century, economic development and the rejuvenation of Chinese culture are goals shared across the Straits," Zheng said.

Relations have improved markedly since Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang came to power in 2008.

The mainland is the island's largest trading partner and investment destination, as well as home to a growing number of Taiwan people. In 2011, cross-Straits trade totaled $145.5 billion, a year-on-year rise of 37 percent.

President Hu also called for efforts to advance economic development, political progress, cultural progress and social development, to improve the ecosystem and carry out CPC party building, and to constantly improve people's well-being.

Hu said the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation must be achieved by upholding peace, development and cooperation.

"China has been, is and will always be a positive force safeguarding world peace and promoting common development," he said. Hu quoted Dr. Sun Yat-sen as saying: "If China becomes powerful and prosperous, we will not only restore our nation's standing, but also take greater responsibility in the world."

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